Looking at the latest unemployment data you’d be forgiven for thinking market conditions in Australia aren’t good.  But speaking with the executive business community in NSW and Victoria, you’ll hear an altogether different story: confidence is high, investment is strong and there’s plenty to be positive about.

Knowing this, many analysts, commentators and business leaders have called into question the validity of the September ABS Labour Force data and in light of the monthly swings and sampling issues identified, some have gone as far as saying ‘the numbers are rubbish’.

What does, however, ring true by almost every economic measure, is the huge discrepancy in the Australian market, to a point where we could be talking about two different employment markets – NSW and Victoria, versus the rest of the country.

Here are 3 insights into what we’re seeing in NSW and Victoria at the professional end of the employment market:

1. Confidence is high in the business community among clients and candidates to either hire people or move jobs. Combined, NSW and Victoria account for approximately 75 percent of total professional recruitment market in Australia.

We’re also seeing a rise in executive mobility between these two states. Candidates are increasingly willing to move or commute for the right role with many opportunities requiring executives to split their time between the two cities.

2. 2016 is proving to be the year of the SME and Startup, with both driving increases in headcount, as opposed to corporate Australia where we are seeing more or less replacement of headcount.

What’s particularly exciting is the number of FMCG companies we’re seeing making a transition from startup mode to full-scale operation, with founders looking to put in place their first level of C-Suite expertise.

3. Executives are embracing part-time employment.  This is an unmistakable trend we’re seeing driven by innovation in employment and a focus on work-life integration, rather than a forced reduction in labour force participation.

There are countless examples that have been shared with me over the past quarter of talented mid to senior level executives being given the flexibility to adjust their working week or fortnight away from full-time hours to accommodate changes in life circumstances.

The costs associated with replacing an executive are too high for a business to not consider, so we’re seeing more and more organisations across every sector, from Financial Services, FMCG and Retail, supporting the move.

What are you seeing in the NSW and Victoria markets right now? Join our conversation on LinkedIn